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The Latest: Evacuation ordered in Mississippi flooding

March 8, 2019

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on flooding in the Deep South (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

Officials are ordering evacuations in a western Mississippi area where water is pooling behind a levee and predicted to cause record flooding.

The Warren County Board of Supervisors voted Friday to order evacuation of the Eagle Lake community, north of Vicksburg.

Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer said water inside the Yazoo Backwater Levee could cut off the only remaining road to the community. He says people aren’t being forced to leave, but Elfer warns Eagle Lake may become inaccessible to firefighters and emergency medical services.

Elfer says about 500 people live or have vacation houses at Eagle Lake

The Yazoo Backwater Levee protects thousands of square miles of the Mississippi Delta region from even worse flooding by the Mississippi River. But when officials close a floodgate keeping out the big river, water draining from the north has nowhere to go, rising inside the levee.

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8 a.m.

Gov. Bill Lee has signed an executive order making it easier for Tennessee to recover from the effects of serious flooding caused by heavy rains.

The order signed Thursday begins the process for declaring a federal disaster after parts of the state set records for rainfall last month. Rain caused flooding in homes, businesses, roads, farms and fields, and led to landslides and highway closures.

Lee’s order enables easier delivery of health care, insurance and relief supplies to 83 Tennessee counties affected by flooding. It also helps the repair of state and federal highways damaged by high water.

The order is retroactive to Feb. 6 and runs through April 7.

Lee is scheduled to survey damage in Hardin County and other flood-stricken areas of west Tennessee on Friday.

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